White House Peace Vigil
The White House Peace Vigil is an anti-nuclear weapons peace vigil started by William Thomas in 1981. It is thought to be the longest running peace vigil in US history. Despite Thomas' death in 2009, it continues to be maintained around-the-clock by Concepcion Picciotto and other volunteers.
Thomas launched the anti-nuclear vigil outside the White House in Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. on June 3, 1981. He was later joined by Concepcion Picciotto in August 1981 and Ellen Benjamin in April 1984. Over the years various other activists have joined them, including those from the Catholic Worker Movement, Plowshares Movement and Occupy D.C..
Thomas and the White House Peace Vigil has inspired Eleanor Holmes Norton to introduce the Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act, that would require the United States to disable and dismantle its nuclear weapons when all other nations possessing nuclear weapons do likewise. The Congresswoman has been introducing a version of the bill since 1994.
The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue, a documentary directed by Tim Wilkerson and commissioned by the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, recounts the lives of anti-nuclear activists Thomas, Concepcion Picciotto and Norman Mayer.
- Colman McCarthy (February 8, 2009). "From Lafayette Square Lookout, He Made His War Protest Permanent". The Washington Post.
- Lloyd Grove (December 14, 1984). "Birth of a street person". The Washington Post.
- "Thomas, Peace Park Vigiler and Antinuclear Activist". Prop1.org.
- "Significant Peace Park Vigilers from the Past". Prop1.org.
- "Current Situation in Peace Park". Prop1.org.
- "Norton Files Nuclear Disarmament Bill to Implement D.C. Ballot Initiative". March 19, 2009.
- Tim Wilkerson (Director) (2012). The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue (Documentary). Al Jazeera Documentary Channel.
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